Imperfect Creatures
Free

Imperfect Creatures

By Lucinda Cole
Free
Book Description

Lucinda Cole’s Imperfect Creatures offers the first full-length study of the shifting, unstable, but foundational status of “vermin” as creatures and category in the early modern literary, scientific, and political imagination. In the space between theology and an emergent empiricism, Cole’s argument engages a wide historical swath of canonical early modern literary texts—William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta, Abraham Cowley’s The Plagues of Egypt, Thomas Shadwell’s The Virtuoso, the Earl of Rochester’s “A Ramble in St. James’s Park,” and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Journal of the Plague Year—alongside other nonliterary primary sources and under-examined archival materials from the period, including treatises on animal trials, grain shortages, rabies, and comparative neuroanatomy.As Cole illustrates, human health and demographic problems—notably those of feeding populations periodically stricken by hunger, disease, and famine—were tied to larger questions about food supplies, property laws, national identity, and the theological imperatives that underwrote humankind’s claim to dominion over the animal kingdom. In this context, Cole’s study indicates, so-called “vermin” occupied liminal spaces between subject and object, nature and animal, animal and the devil, the devil and disease—even reason and madness. This verminous discourse formed a foundational category used to carve out humankind’s relationship to an unpredictable, irrational natural world, but it evolved into a form for thinking about not merely animals but anything that threatened the health of the body politic—humans, animals, and even thoughts.

Table of Contents
  • Cole_Revised_Front
  • Cole_text_revised 1
    No review for this book yet, be the first to review.
      No comment for this book yet, be the first to comment
      You May Also Like
      History Repeats
      Free
      History Repeats
      By George O. (George Oliver) Smith
      Stories by American Authors (Volume 4)
      Free
      Stories by American Authors (Volume 4)
      By John William De Forest, Nathaniel Parker Willis, H. C. (Henry Cuyler) Bunner, Mary Hallock Foote, Constance Fenimore Woolson
      The Little Immigrant
      Free
      The Little Immigrant
      By Eva Stern
      Free
      The Riddle of the Mysterious Light
      By Thomas W. Hanshew, Mary E. Hanshew
      Free
      The Explorer
      By W. Somerset (William Somerset) Maugham
      True Tilda
      Free
      True Tilda
      By Arthur Quiller-Couch
      Also Available On
      Categories
      Curated Lists